Sunday, August 15, 2021

AUGUST 15, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE PASSION: JESUS STANDS ALONE | MARK 11:1-11

 

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AUGUST 15, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE PASSION: JESUS STANDS ALONE | MARK 11:1-11

The Passion: Jesus Stands Alone
Mark 11:1-11

Today we will see Mark turn his attention to the last days before the suffering, trial, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. This time frame is commonly known as Passion Week, or the Passion of Christ. Passion is a word which comes from the Latin root word, “patior,” meaning, to suffer. Perhaps the greatest suffering that Jesus will experience will come from having to experience these last days of His life alone. As we have seen throughout our study of Mark, Jesus alone understood the true nature of His message and mission. His disciples did not understand much of what He told them even when He broke down his teaching privately with them. He shared with them repeatedly with great detail what lay before Him in Jerusalem, yet they did not understand or embrace his message. His own family did not understand Who He was or had the slightest hint of the purpose of His calling. The crowds followed Him primarily for what He could do for them: heal them, deliver them and feed them. The Pharisees and teachers of the Law, those who were trained in the teaching of the Scriptures, did not understand that He was the subject of its fulfillment. Jesus entered Jerusalem alone, save for His Father Who sent Him and the Word, who shared His body. In the end of His life, even His awareness of these relationships would become dim. His entire life was one of loneliness and isolation. The prophet Isaiah described His condition clearly: “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.” (Isa.53:1-3). Truly Jesus had walked through the years of His life alone – now He would walk alone through His Passion and die alone on the cross.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

AUGUST 8, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | THE ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE | GENESIS 1:1-14, 22-27

 

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The Eternal Perspective
Genesis 17:1-14, 22-27

As we come to Chapter 17 of Genesis, Abram's household, though it has experienced a redemptive touch from the Lord at the close of Chapter 16, is left dealing with the consequences of sin. Since Hagar's return to Abram's household until present, 13 years have passed. During that time, there has been no communication from the Lord. Over this period of time, Abram has managed a split family situation while having a son in Ishmael, who is now 13 years old. Certainly this period of time offered Abram an opportunity to reflect upon the events that resulted in his circumstances being what they were. Throughout this 13-year period, the silence of the Lord has not meant God has abandoned Abram or His covenant promises (Genesis Chapter 15) and Abram, on the other hand, has been kept in the faith by the grace of God.

Chapter 17 presents to us the greatest of covenantal chapters in the Bible. Foundational and representative to all of the covenants God would establish, the Lord renews His covenant with Abram. In that renewal He reaffirms promises already made and expands upon the details of the covenant itself.

In today's message, we will consider the call of God upon Abram "to walk before (the Lord) and be blameless." Further, we shall consider the temporal promises of God - what they were and what they signify.


                                                  

                                                    Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, August 1, 2021

AUGUST 1, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | THE GOD WHO SEES ME | GENESIS 16:1-16

 

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AUGUST 1, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | THE GOD WHO SEES ME | GENESIS 16:1-16

The God Who Sees (Me)
Genesis 16:1-16

Genesis 16 follows on the heels of significant events in Abram's life. In Chapter 14 he experienced a great military conquest by the Lord's hand, and in Chapter 15 he has received a vision from God concerning the promise of a son and offspring. He also has experienced the reality of God making a covenant with Him; a unilateral covenant of grace. He is indeed a man confirmed in His faith by the Lord; however, in Chapter 16 Abram, and Sarai with him, experience a significant low point in their lives. They experience the failure of trusting in the Lord, subjecting themselves to behavior unbecoming to people of God. We wonder, "How could this be?" However, such is the experience of the imperfect people of God. As we work our way through the text, we will explore their failure and also see how the Lord works His redemptive purposes even in the midst of their darkest hours. Though the consequences of their actions are not erased, the redemptive purposes of the Lord stand fast. I pray that this portion of Scripture will serve as encouragement to your heart in your pursuit of your faith in Christ.

                                                    Roger and Marsha Melson


Sunday, July 25, 2021

JULY 25, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | A BEGGAR'S FAITH | MARK 10:46-52

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A Beggar’s Faith
Mark 10:46-52

Today we will continue to walk with Jesus toward Jerusalem. The scene opens as Jesus is entering the metropolitan city of Jericho. Jesus is accompanied by His disciples, the small contingency of women who traveled with them (Luke 8:2) and a growing number of people (the crowds) who began to attach themselves to the group as they entered the region of Jericho. Some clarification must be made about the City of Jericho. Two cities stood in Jesus day, both identified as Jericho. The first was the ruins of the ancity that continues to be the oldest inhabited city in the world (7,000-8,000 years). The second city of Jericho was built as a winter palace to the southeast, toward Jerusalem by Herod the Great in 4 BC. This distinction is important as we think of the slight change of location for the present text. Very likely, Matthew’s statement that Jesus and His disciples were leaving Jericho held over against Mark and Luke’s statement that they were coming into the city is resolved by this historical context. Mark is stating that they had gone through the ancient city and were entering the modern Herodian city. Luke, who gathered all the accounts, follows Mark with the historical context in mind. Most importantly, was the incident and miracle which took place between the two places as a beggar pleaded to Jesus for a wish to be fulfilled.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

JULY 18, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO SERVANTHOOD | MARK 10:35-45


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JULY 18, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO SERVANTHOOD | MARK 10:35-45

The Call to Discipleship: A Call to Servanthood
Mark 10:32-34

Today we will continue to walk with Jesus through Judea on His way to Jerusalem. You recall that a series of teachings began back in chapter 8 when Jesus was rebuked by Peter for his comment that He would be killed in Jerusalem. Each time He has mentioned this same foreboding news, Jesus taught these men a lesson on the cost of being one of His disciples. So far, we have learned that a call to discipleship is a Call to Humility, a Call to Devotion, a Call to One Flesh Marriage, A Call to Childlikeness, Call to Holiness and a Call to Brokenness. All of these teachings have had an observed cumulative effect on the followers of Jesus – they were becoming “astonished and afraid” (10:32). Thus far they are experiencing a fear of the words of Jesus held over against the teachings of their elders and priests built upon the traditions of the Jewish faith. Soon they will understand the meaning of the often repeated truth of the Scriptures: “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” What is the cost of discipleship? Laying down your life and your worldview before the wisdom of the teacher, the master, the Lord Jesus Christ. These men are not being groomed or shaped, they are being broken down, tilled like hard ground so that the good seed of the Word of the Lord can bear fruit in their hearts and lives.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

JULY 11, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO THE CENTRALITY OF THE CROSS | MARK 10:32-34

 

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JULY 11, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO THE CENTRALITY OF THE CROSS | MARK 10:32-34

The Call to Discipleship: A Call to the Centrality of the Cross
Mark 10:32-34

This is now the third time that Jesus will directly address the reason for, and response to, His trip to Jerusalem. The first time was in chapter 8:31; the second 9:31 and for the last time, here in 10:33 . In the first address, Jesus had shared this news in the context of asking His disciples. “Who do men say that I am?” We remember Peter’s inspired response: “You are the Messiah.” After this comment, they continued to travel along. Jesus shared that He would be killed in Jerusalem and rise from the dead. This declaration was met with a stern rebuke – also from Peter. Remember Jesus' reaction? “Jesus turned and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ Jesus said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’” In the second address, spoken during the Gentile campaign, Jesus told the disciples again that He would be killed and rise from the dead in Jerusalem. The statement was made after Jesus confronted His disciples for their arrogant argument of who among them was the greatest. In this third address, Jesus had just finished teaching His disciples the importance of a one-flesh marital faithfulness. He had illustrated that having a child-like character is the only means to enter the Kingdom of God. And, then when Jesus had been literally worshiped by a devout Jewish, righteous and rich young man. Jesus told him that to enter the Kingdom of God he must sell all of his possessions, give them to the poor and follow Jesus. This shocked and amazed his disciples to the point of trembling with fear. In this emotional context brought on by all of these life changing ideas, Jesus turned to His disciples and stated that in Jerusalem He would be brutalized, humiliated, killed and rise from the dead, in three days. In comparison to all of these teachings, exchanges and first-time heard assertion, a statement about death waiting ahead in Jerusalem drew only bewildered and blank faces. According to Luke’s Gospel we read: “The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what He was talking about” (Luk.18:34).

Sunday, July 4, 2021

JULY 4, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO HOLINESS | MARK 10:17-31

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JULY 4, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO HOLINESS | MARK 10:17-31 

The Call to Discipleship: A Call to Holiness
Mark 10:17-31

Directly on the heels of His discussion about humility using the example of a small child, Jesus was suddenly confronted by a young man. This Godly Jewish fellow, pressed in among the disciples and the rest of the company as they entered Judea traveling toward Jerusalem. He fell to his knees at Jesus' feet with the pressing question: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” This remarkable display of respect and honor by an established Jewish man was something very remarkable to everyone present - mostly so, because he was extraordinarily rich. It was within this context that Jesus continued to reveal the unique nature of His person and mission. It is important for us to remember that the disciples were Jesus' main audience. Each of the past four passages are directly aimed at His disciples. Each lesson caused a massive reaction and sea change in their minds and hearts. Each of His instructions are aimed at the theme of the cost of being one of Jesus’ disciples. Though this encounter had an enormous impact upon the rich young man, it would solicit an even greater reaction from the disciples. Their entire worldview would be suddenly challenged to its core.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

JUNE 27, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | THE SOVEREIGN COVENANT MAKER | GENESIS 15:7-21

 

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JUNE 27, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | THE SOVEREIGN COVENANT MAKER | GENESIS 15:7-21

The Sovereign Covenant Maker
Genesis 15:7-21

While Genesis 15: 1-6 deals with God’s promise to Abram regarding offspring and his correlative declaration of faith regarding that offspring, verses 7-21 deal with God’s promise concerning the inheritance of a land. In this text we see the Lord once again dealing with Abram on a tender and personal level as He gives him assurance concerning this promise. In giving him this assurance we have a certain insight into how God not only dealt with Abram but how He also deals with us as individual believers. In fact, as we work our way through this passage we will see how this is a text which is about God. It reveals His nature and attributes. Of course, His attributes, His nature and character, directly determine how He relates to us.

The dominant focus of this passage is God’s “Covenant of Promise” which identifies the basis of His dealing with Abram and with all of those who are identified with Abram through faith. I pray that this message will be a blessing and encouragement to you on your walk with the Lord.


                                                    Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, June 20, 2021

JUNE 20, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: THE CHILDLIKE HEART | MARK 10:13-16


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JUNE 20, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: THE CHILDLIKE HEART | MARK 10:13-16

The Call to Discipleship: The Childlike Heart
Mark 10:13-16

In our last two sermons, we noted that Jesus had left the Gentile campaign and crossed over the Jordan River back into Galilee and into the city of Capernaum. There He gathered privately with His disciples and taught nature and cost of following Jesus. This text today introduces the third message Jesus gives to His disciples for their training: The Humble Heart, The One-flesh Heart and today, The Child-like Heart. Jesus summarizes these teachings on the nature of discipleship and following Him: “how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:24). At the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people” (Mark 1:17). To catch fish takes bait and patience, to catch people takes a lifetime of dedication and training. Jesus is now calling His disciples to both.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

JUNE 13, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO A ONEFLESH MARRIAGE | MARK 10:1-12

 

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JUNE 13, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO A ONEFLESH MARRIAGE | MARK 10:1-12

The Call to Discipleship: A Call to a Oneflesh Marriage
Mark 10:1-12

In our last two sermons, we noted that Jesus had left the Gentile campaign and crossed over the Jordon River back into Galilee and into the city of Capernaum. There He began to teach His disciples about the cost of being one of His disciples, particularly centered in being clothed in humility, not focused upon the greatness of approval by the world or one another. But the disciple must be a person ready to face whatever humility and even suffering that must come. In this text today, Jesus continues teaching His disciples. The subject of marriage is next on Jesus’ list. I remember coming to the stark realization that as a called couple to ministry in the Gospel, a sound marriage was an uncompromisable necessity. No person can claim to be a disciple of Christ who does not take their marriage covenant to be sacred and to be preserved at whatever cost. Though this lesson today is not specifically about the dynamics of maintaining a Christian marriage, Jesus centers His teaching in three critical elements – marriage, divorce and remarriage.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

JUNE 06, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO DEVOTION | MARK 9:41-50

 

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JUNE 06, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO DEVOTION | MARK 9:41-50

The Call of Discipleship: A Call to Devotion
Mark 9:41-50

In this text we will listen as Jesus gives further instruction to His disciples following their trip to the land of the Gentiles. The location of this discipleship training is in the home of Peter, in Capernaum. All of this discussion is built upon the foolish discussion among the disciples of who among them was the greatest. It is clear that Jesus must give His disciples some life training on the cost of discipleship. Up to this point the disciples have been observers of the Savior’s work. Soon they will take up His mission without his physical presence. In order for the message of Christ to remain true and clear, they must be ready for the glory and the suffering ahead.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

MAY 30, 2021 | PASTORN JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO HUMILITY | MARK 9:30-40

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MAY 31, 2021 | PASTORN JOHN BAYLES | THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO HUMILITY | MARK 9:30-40

The Call to Discipleship: A Call to Humility
Mark 9:30-40

Our text picks up today as Jesus and His disciples continue their journey around the area between the city of Bethsaida and the region south of Caesarea Philippi – the lands of the Gentiles (note: 8:22-27). Recently, during this trip Peter declared that Jesus was the Messiah, in one breath. In the next breath, Peter rebuked Jesus for making the claim that He would soon suffer, die and be raised from the dead in Jerusalem. To which Jesus said to him, “Get behind me Satan. You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Soon after this event, Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him to the top of a high mountain and was transfigured before them, speaking with Elijah and Moses. After suggesting that they build three shrines, Peter was again corrected, this time by the Almighty with the words, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Coming down from the mountain, they found the other disciples arguing with the Pharisees and with a man whose son had an impure spirit, which they could not cast out. After casting out the demon, Jesus decided to bring the disciples home from the journey. It was time for some rest and needed, concentrated instruction.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

MAY 23, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | HE BELIEVED THE LORD (PART 2) | GENESIS 15:1-6

 

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MAY 23, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | HE BELIEVED THE LORD (PART 2) | GENESIS 15:1-6

    In Genesis 14 Abram, with an army of 318, overwhelms an army of possibly 10,000 in number, as he rescues Lot from his captivity. As the chapter closes, he is reminded by Melchizedek that it was the Lord who gave him this great victory. As Chapter 15 opens, "the word of the Lord" comes to Abram as he has questions regarding the fulfillment of the Lord's promise that he and Sara will have a son. The Lord affirms His promise will be fulfilled by giving him a visual sign. Upon this confirmation given, it is said "he believed the Lord."

    For the first time in Scriptures, this word "believe" (having faith) is used. In today's message we will explore why this word is used here in this context. We will explore the word "believe," considering its meaning and the characteristics of faith. Finally, we will briefly explore how it came to pass in Abram's life and how it is birthed in the lives of those who believe.

I hope that this message bring glory to God and is an encouragement to you!


                                                    Roger and Marsha Melson



Sunday, May 16, 2021

MAY 16, 2021 | PASTOR ROGER MELSON | THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE PRAYERS OF HIS SAINTS | LUKE 11:1-4


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The Westminster Larger Catechism has as its first question, "What is the chief and highest end of man?" The answer is: "Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God and fully to enjoy Him forever." That which is mentioned foremost is to glorify God. This theme, to glorify God, is mentioned in the Old Testament in Psalms 86:9. The Apostle Paul states that his focus was to glorify God in all things. The driving passion of the Lord Jesus, our chief example, was to glorify the Father. If in our daily lives that is also to be our chief end/goal, then how much more should that be true of our communications with God in prayer?

In Luke 11, when Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray, the Lord taught them what we call the Lord's Prayer. Jesus began his instruction by teaching them to have the glory of God foremost in their minds. It is not just His glory that we should first mention in protracted prayer, but it is His glory that should be the over-arching principle in all of prayer itself.

In today's message, we will attempt to briefly consider the different divisions found in the Lord's Prayer considering the glory of God and how our prayers should be framed by that mindset.


                                                 
                                               Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, May 2, 2021

MAY 02, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST | JOHN 17:20-26

 

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MAY 02, 2021 | PASTOR JOHN BAYLES | THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST | JOHN 17:20-26

What Jesus is praying for in this text is of the greatest importance.  He is praying for those who will carry the message to others and, in turn, for those who will carry the message throughout the ages.  What is the substance of their message, and our message today?  The message which Jesus is underscoring is a powerful message of love and redemption.